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 Essential Oils
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Patchouli Oil

It is popular for exerting a grounding and balancing effect on the chakras. Originating in India and Malaysia, where it's known as puchaput-- patchoili oil has the unusual property of improving in odour with age. With its deep reddish-brown color tone, along with the similar colour and consistency as oils of benzoin and myrrh, this oil belongs to the labiateae family. Its name has been derived from the word "patch" meaning "green" and "ilai" meaning "leaf". However, having distinct properties in comparison to other labiate oils, it carries an exotic heavy and earthy fragrance.

The essential oil has a grounding and balancing effect on the emotions and banishes lethargy, while sharpening the wits, fighting depression and anxiety. It is also said to create an amorous atmosphere. The oil is supposed to be one of the most active and is a superb tissue regenerator, promoting not just a faster wound healing but also sorting out the related skin and scalp disorders.

Being used for natural skin care, this oil carries a distinctively beneficial image in context to tired, dry, and ageing skin. Patchouli oil has a rich musky-sweet, strong spicy and herbaceous smell. It blends particularly well with essential oils of Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Ginger, Lemongrass, Rosewood, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lavender and Myrrh.
 

Oil Extraction
Botanically known as Pogostemon patchouli or Pogostemon cablin, patchouli oil is extracted from this bushy, perennial plant that grows up to 1meter (3 feet) high, with a sturdy, hairy stem and large, fragrant, furry leaves, about four inches long and five inches across. It has whitish flowers tinged with purple.

Also known as pautchouly and puchaput, this plant may remind of the hippie era. Having an incalculable value in skincare, this plant is an ideal for fighting depression and anxiety. Extracted from the young leaves of the plant, which are dried and fermented prior to steam distillation, the collected oil yield is 2 - 3 %.

 

History of Patchouli
It were the leaves of patchouli which were placed between Indian cashmere shawls en route to Victorian England, so as to protect the merchandise from months. In fact, these shawls were not sold in England without the signature smell of dried patchouli leaves. These were used in the East as a part of potpourris and sachets, along with being placed between linen in order to keep bedbugs away. The Indian ink derives its characteristic smell with the mix of patchouli oil and camphor oil.

Applicable Benefits
The chemical components of patchouli oil are b-patchoulene, a-guaiene, caryophyllene, a-patchoulene, seychellene, a-bulnesene, norpatchoulenol, patchouli alcohol and pogostol. These have derived this essential oil the therapeutic properties of being

antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, sedative and tonic. Some of the medicinal properties of this oil have been discovered as the following:

 

  • Anti Depressant: Being popularly recommended to people suffering from depression, this essential oil helps them to get over from the pessimistic feelings and fills them with new hopes. That is why, it is very much in use in aromatherapy. It uplifts mood, drives away disappointment and relaxes tension.
  • Anti Phlogistic: It soothes inflammation, particularly those resulting from fever and gives relief.
  • Anti Septic: Protects the wounds and ulcers from infections and from being septic.
  • Aphrodisiac: Patchouli Oil is also good for treating sexual problems such as impotency, loss of libido and interest in sex, erectile problems, frigidity, etc. and acts as an aphrodisiac.
  • Astringent: It induces contractions in muscles, nerves and skin. This helps strengthening hold of gums on teeth, preventing shagging of skin, hair fall and loosening of muscles. This astringency of Patchouli Oil also helps stop haemorrhage by contracting the blood vessels.
  • Cicatrisant: It helps heal cuts and wounds and also speed up the fading of their scars. This is equally effective in vanishing marks left by boils, acne, pox, measles, etc.
  • Cytophylactic: This property of the Essential Oil of Patchouli promotes growth by helping generation of new body cells. This helps in production of red blood cells too. It was seen mainly helpful in regeneration of new skin cells, thus keeping the skin healthy, young and vibrant.
  • Deodorant: The strong sweet, spicy and musky aroma of this essential oil keeps away body odor. But it should be used in dilution as sometimes the aroma of Patchouli Oil might feel too strong to bear.
  • Diuretic: It increases the tendency of urinating as well as the frequency of urination and quantity of urine. This helps loose weight, lower blood pressure, increase appetite, lower cholesterol and removal of toxins from the body.
  • Febrifuge: Reduces body temperature in case of fever by fighting the infections causing the fever. Being an Anti Phlogistic, it gives relief from the inflammations caused by fever and this way too helps bringing down the fever, since fever can be reduced to some extent if the pain and inflammation associated with fever are taken care of.
  • Fungicide: Patchouli Essential Oil has been found quite effective in inhibiting fungal growths and infections, thereby providing protection from some of the notorious infections like athlete’s foot.
  • Insecticide: As said earlier, the insecticidal property of Patchouli Oil was recognized long ago. Despite smelling sweet, it is very effective in keeping insects away. It may be used in sprays, body lotions, fumigants, vaporizers, incense sticks or can be mixed with water to wash clothes and bed linen to drive away mosquitoes, ants, beg bugs, lice, fleas, flies and moths.
  • Sedative: It calms down inflammations and sedates convulsions, coughs and epileptic attacks resulting from hype sensitivity or hyper reactivity of nerves. It can also stop eruption of allergies by sedating the hyper sensitivity of body towards certain elements.
  • Tonic: This property of Patchouli Oil tones up the whole body. It makes right the metabolic functions like decomposition of food and absorption of nutrients by toning up the liver, stomach and intestines, helping you grow stronger and healthier; takes care of proper excretion; regulates the endocrinal secretions of hormones and enzymes and also tones up the nervous system, thus making you more alert and active, and finally, boosts the immune system, protecting you from infections.
  • Other Benefits: Helps treat eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and sores. Gives relief from constipation. Can be used as an antidote against insect bites temporarily.
 

Few Words of Caution: The sweet and long lasting aroma of Patchouli Essential Oil, may not be welcome for a few (in fact, little persistent for some people). Though the oil is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing in nature, yet its large doses may cause loss of appetite in some individuals.

 
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